Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Write-only code. (Score 1) 757

> The sample code will copy a and b twice, once to put them in the lambda closure, and then to pass them as arguments to do_something. Some may consider this wasteful (the easiest fix is to modify do_something to take the values as const references).

No, the easiest fix is for a & b to be moveable types, which they may well be, in which case one of those copies becomes a move, and all is right in the universe.

Comment Re:Write-only code. (Score 1) 757

> So we all program in different dialects, and then scratch our heads when we read other peoples' code.

The practice of programming in dialects is more a function of the origins of the language than the size of the language. Stroustrup's most recent book does a marvelous job of demonstrating how little you have to know to program in C++ effectively: http://www.stroustrup.com/prog...

C++'s C compatibility is both its strength and its weakness, and the weakness primarily comes from people treating it as a bunch of add ons to C. If you scrap that attitude, it is entirely possible to be proficient in the language after a year of use and capable of reading most anyone's code (assuming they aren't shooting for obscurity) in another year or two. That's longer than some simpler languages, but it is hardly sufficient to excuse people's ignorance.

Comment Re:C++ Downfalls, Compiler and Internationalizatio (Score 1) 757

Regarding repeatability: the language is fully deterministic, and compilers have as much of an incentive to be consistent as they do otherwise. If you can't get repeatable builds, then the problem is with your build environment/process more than anything else. Aside from hardware entropy sources, computers are, by design, deterministic, so if you can't reproduce a build it is because you haven't constructed a proper build closure. Certainly there is nothing about C++ that makes builds any more non-deterministic than say, C. Debian actually has a project for this: https://wiki.debian.org/Reprod..., and you may find some helpful information there. You'll notice nothing they've run in to is specific to C++.

Regarding code-to-binary structural coverage analysis. Certainly I can imagine the argument that as you get to higher and higher levels of abstraction, it becomes harder for humans to track all the transformations all the way through to assembly. One solution is to restrict the levels of abstraction you work with. I would argue that is still error prone and you are better off with using theorem prover type automated solutions (and in general, languages built around provability like ML or Coq) rather than manual verification. Even better would be to perform the verification on the compiler itself rather than the code it compiles. That said, C++ compilers do a pretty good job of tracking the origin of each bit of code they generate, which ought to make it easy to have the machine inform you of the origin of any particular code block, and C++ also does a great job of letting the programmer decide what level of abstraction they want to work with and only making the runtime pay for the abstractions they are using. Its stronger type safety also helps ensure that there aren't "hidden" code paths do to programmer error. Of course, optimizers really complicate this, so you may need to turn them off as you mentioned.

Internationalization. That sounds like an old project... one that predates the C++ standard (which means a lot of bad C habits are involved). C++ is actually very well set up for internationalization, particularly because it is so agnostic about how stings are handled. Languages like Python, Perl & surprisingly Ruby have made all kinds of unfortunate decisions around internationalization that make it look like you are fine with internationalization, but it actually blows up in your face. As an example, ICU is probably one of the foremost libraries out there, and its primary language targets are C++ & Java. The C++ target has the virtue that you can pretty much just drop in ICU strings in to a well structured C++ program and all is well in the world, where as the Java one is a bit of a pain to take advantage of (fortunately, Oracle periodically syncs the ICU code in with the JDK, but that means you have to wait for a JDK update to get the latest ICU solution).


Wired Writer Disappears, Find Him and Make $5k 135

carp3_noct3m writes "A freelance Wired magazine journalist has decided to see what it is like to disappear from normal life, all while staying on the grid. The catch, is that he is challenging anyone and everyone to find him, take a picture, and speak a special codeword to him. If you can do that, you can make 5000 dollars, which happens to come out of his paycheck for the article he'll be writing. Oh, and to top it all off, whoever finds him gets pictures and interviews in Wired. He has been posting to his Twitter, using TOR for internet, and the Wired website will be posting his credit card transactions."

Submission + - Pidgin Forks!? (xman.org)

X writes: "In what has to be the most inane reason for the fork of a major open source project, Funpidgin has forked Pidgin, formerly known as Gaim. The reason for the fork: 2.4.x Pidigin removed the ability to resize the input box. That's it. That's the whole reason."

Followup On Java As "Damaging" To Students 626

hedley writes "A prior article on the damage Java does to CS education was discussed here recently. There was substantial feedback and the mailbox of one of the authors, Prof Dewar, also has been filled with mainly positive responses. In this followup to the article, Prof. Dewar clarifies his position on Java. In his view the core of the problem is universities 'dumbing down programs, hoping to make them more accessible and popular. Aspects of curriculum that are too demanding, or perceived as tedious, are downplayed in favor of simplified material that attracts a larger enrollment.'"

perl6 and Parrot 0.5.2 Released 229

mAriuZ writes "Bob Rogers just released Parrot 0.5.2. This monthly release includes a couple of interesting new features. First, we've bundled Patrick Michaud's Rakudo (thats the implementation of Perl 6 on Parrot) such that you can type make perl6 on Unixy platforms and make perl6.exe on Windows and get a working standalone Perl 6 binary. This is experimental and we hope to iron out some installation and deployment issues by next months release, but it was important to demonstrate our progress. The second new feature is a toolkit for starting your own compiler. Max Mohun built a prototype several months ago, and we've added a stripped-down version for now that builds the skeleton of a compiler for you using the Parrot Compiler Tools. I mentioned the LOLCODE compiler in What the Perl 6 and Parrot Hackers Did on Their Christmas Vacation; this is how Simon and Company were able to get LOLCODE up and running so quickly."

Sun Buys MySQL 588

Krow alerted me that MySQL has been bought by Sun. Right now there is only a brief announcement but it discusses what the acquisition will mean for the core developers, community etc.
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Nearly Entire id Back Catalog Now on Steam

Pluvius writes: "The constantly growing list of games available on Valve's online-gaming network Steam has become even more impressive with a contribution from id software. With the exception of the relatively new Quake IV and a few early games, every PC game released by id is now available, including the first five Commander Keen episodes, the Wolfenstein games, the Doom series, most of the Quake series, Heretic and HeXen, and all of the addons and expansions thereof. Better yet, all of these games can be bought together at the low price of $70, minus a 10% discount if you buy before August 10. Other packages are also available."

Feed Engadget: Dell XPS M1730 spotted in the wild? (engadget.com)

Filed under: Gaming, Laptops

It looks like Dell is finally readying a followup to its M1710 speedster with the XPS M1730. The 17-inch laptop will of course be packing some Santa Rosa muscle, but according to rumors Dell's also going to provide that new Core 2 Extreme X7800 chip for the real speed demons / big spenders out there. For graphics the base models will be getting an NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GS card with 256MB of memory, with a 512MB GeForce 8700M GT waiting in the wings. Other rumored specs include 4GB max of RAM and a 512MB or 1GB Intel Turbo Memory option, Bluetooth 2.0, Blu-ray and that welcome numeric keypad addition. The word is this one will go on sale August 27th, and while the paint job is bordering on "crime against humanity," hopefully Dell will have a few more acceptable options to decorate this gaming beast whenever it does hit the market.

[Thanks, Matthias]

Continue reading Dell XPS M1730 spotted in the wild?

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Slashdot Top Deals

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer